Case Study 3
Case Study 3 - A collection of high-quality photographic prints by a famous artist
A community group come forward with boxes of historic photographs of an area of Coventry. In these, it is clear that several are early prints from a well-known and collectable artist.
The majority of this collection is likely to be been bequeathed to the group and so ownership of the prints will sit with them. This does not mean they have the right to make digital copies however. Copyright remains with the creator. Whilst it may be assumed that the creator rights were assigned to the community group along with ownership of the prints, it is best to check this if possible.
However, in the case of clearly identifiable works by a famous artist, the most sensible course is to involve the Herbert Art Gallery curatorial team or Coventry Archive team. At this point we would not digitise the famous works but instead we would work with the Herbert to contact the artist to verify their authenticity and seek permission to digitise and include their works.
The works, if authentic, should properly be placed within the archives to ensure they are correctly preserved and catalogued but this is a negotiation between the community group and Herbert Gallery or Coventry Archive teams.